Best resonator guitars: our pick of the best dobro guitars for blues, bluegrass and country

Close up of Gretsch resonator guitar on a blue wooden surface
(Image credit: Future)

If you’re looking for something a little different from your typical electro-acoustic guitar then you’re in the right place. The best resonator guitars offer something completely atypical from your usual six-string with their unique looks and exciting timbre that’s perfect for fingerstyle and slide guitar playing.

Sometimes called a resophonic guitar, the resonator generates its unique sound by taking the string vibrations and transferring them through the guitar bridge to one or more spinning metal cones in the guitar body. First coming into use in 1927, the resonator was designed to supplant the acoustic guitar by offering a louder unplugged volume that could compete with horns and percussion instruments of the time. 

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Matt McCracken
Junior Deals Writer

Matt is a Junior Deals Writer here at Guitar World. He regularly tests and reviews music gear with a focus on guitars, amps, pedals, modelers, and pretty much anything else guitar-related. Responsible for over 60 buying guides, a large part of his role is helping guitarists find the best deals on gear. Matt worked in music retail for 5 years at Dawsons Music and Northwest Guitars and has written for various music sites including MusicRadar, Guitar Player, Guitar.com, Ultimate Guitar, and Thomann’s t.blog. A regularly gigging guitarist with over 20 years of experience playing live and writing and recording in bands, he's performed everything from jazz to djent, gigging all over the country in more dingy venues than you can shake a drop-tuned guitar at. When he's not holed up in his home studio recording new songs or tweaking pedal settings, you’ll find him making a racket with Northern noise hounds JACKALS